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Referee Andre Marriner has apologised to Arsenal for mistakenly sending off Kieran Gibbs instead of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the Gunners' 6-0 defeat at Chelsea, reports Ben Burrows of the Daily Mirror.
The England international was clearly viewed sticking out a hand to prevent Eden Hazard's effort on goal, but the match official dismissed Gibbs in error instead.
A statement released by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited read:
Andre is an experienced referee and is obviously disappointed that an error of mistaken identity was made in this case.
Incidents of mistaken identity are very rare and are often the result of a number of different technical factors.
Whilst this was a difficult decision Andre is disappointed that he failed to identify the correct player.
He expressed his disappointment to Arsenal when he was made aware of the issue.
Marriner is likely to face a demotion from Premier League duty as a result, but Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes the mistake highlights the need for video technology to help officials, reports Andrew Dillon of the Sun On Sunday (subscription required).
Mourinho is quoted as saying:
The sending-off is big ammunition for people like me, who think that one little screen in front of the fourth official is a big help against this kind of mistake.
The important thing is the penalty was a penalty and there was a red card, even if they didn’t know who.
After that it would be nice for the ref to have technology. A little screen would show it was Chamberlain not Gibbs. It is the kind of mistake no referee wants to make.
Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey told the Sun On Sunday that no red card should have been awarded, as Hazard's shot was not goal-bound.
To start with, it is not a red card for deliberate handball in the box if the shot is not going directly into the back of the net.
Players can only be given their marching orders if they deny a clear goalscoring opportunity, which in this case it is not as the ball is going wide.